Top 5 Wedding Planning Tips
Anytime a new bride-to-be can get wedding planning tips, they typically are open to all advice. There’s no doubt about it: planning out every detail of your impending wedding comes with stresses and endless decisions to be made. For brides getting married in 2019 or even 2020, the planning process is underway. For some couples, they’ve been discussing details about their dream wedding for quite some time already. On the other hand, others start planning only once the engagement is secured and they now have dozens of decisions to make together. Whether you feel overwhelmed or prepared, remember that enlisting professional help is always a good option for ensuring your big day goes off without any hiccups. Always keep in mind that bringing your family and friends together to celebrate the start of your married life should be exciting and as stress-free as possible! To help you keep some stress at bay, we’re excited to share our 5 expert tips for planning your upcoming wedding.
1. Set a budget first and stick to it!
Your budget will undoubtedly be the driving factor for decision making during your wedding planning process, so tackle this first before making any plans. It can help to discuss priorities with your fiance to determine what you are willing to spend a bit more on, such as a band rather than a DJ or a pricier photographer whose work you have admired for years. Knowing how much money you can dedicate to each portion of your wedding is critical when it comes to making tough decisions between various options. Something even more important than setting the initial budget is sticking to it closely or tracking every penny you spend. If a decision ends in you overspending in one area, be sure to adjust another area to compensate for these changes. Keep in mind that you set these guidelines for a reason and try not to stray too far off from the budget. Another good thing to do that will help in the money department is check your credit score and open a credit card that offers good rewards or miles. Put all of your wedding expenses on this card and dedicate the points for unexpected expenses closer to your wedding day or put the miles toward a flight to your honeymoon.
2. Create a Vision Board
We live in a time where there are more sources of inspiration than ever before, so utilize them! Hop on instagram, pinterest, purchase a few bridal magazines and start making note of what you like and what feels like it matches the vision for your big day. To avoid feeling overwhelmed in the beginning, tackle one medium at a time and make note of what style you do and don’t like. From there, weed out designers and themes that you don’t like and start looking into those that you do like a bit deeper. Whether you are old-school and snip pictures of things you like or create a pinterest board, show your vendors some examples so they get a feel for your style and can suggest options you are sure to love. This is especially important when you hire a wedding planner to ensure your day goes off without a hitch, so they can share in your vision and plan exactly what you imagine your wedding will look like.
3. Hire Reliable Vendors
For those engaged individuals who don’t enjoy planning, or simply would rather have a professional handle the majority of it, hiring a wedding planner can be a life-saving tool. Whether you have a year or just a few months to plan the whole thing, stress is inevitable. There are endless decisions to be made, and enlisting a professional will help make the process easier for you and your partner. Once you have a venue picked out and booked, consider asking them for suggestions of vendors they’ve worked with in the space before and have a good relationship with. This could alleviate issues down the line if your venue has a great relationship with the best caterer in town who has great prices and great food or has experience with certain photographers who already know all of the beautiful hidden spots throughout the venue. Ensure you are open and honest with your wedding planner from start to finish, and ask questions about different vendors before meeting with them so you know what you are getting yourself into. We always tell our couples that we know the best DJs and emcees in New York City, but nothing really can live up to a live band. Ask us for recommendations and be sure to check with your vendor to make sure they can fit that 9 piece band you’ve always dreamed of having.
4. Follow a timeline & do things well in advance
It’s no secret that organization is key – especially when it comes to planning a big event such as your wedding. From spreadsheets to timelines, keeping all of your details in one place will help keep you sane throughout this stressful process. Your wedding planner will help tremendously when it comes to doing things on time, but a few big points on the timeline to keep in mind are booking a venue, buying a dress, shopping for wedding rings, and hiring a caterer. When it comes to booking a venue, this is the first thing you should be doing, and the earlier you do so, the better. If you have a venue in mind and know it’s wildly popular in your area, contact them as soon as possible to see what dates they have available. Or, if you are open to many venues and have a date in mind, try looking at least 12 months in advance on average. Just be sure to consider the date you are choosing and consider your guest list if you are booking on a holiday weekend or night of the week other than Saturday. Once you have a vendor, start looking for a caterer. Have a good idea of how many guests you’ll be inviting, and keep that budget in mind from before. There will be different prices for sit-down dinners, buffets, and family style service, so make your decision not only on price but on experience you envision as well. Meet with multiple caterers if you don’t feel confident enough to make a decision and ask your wedding planner what they recommend as well. Err on the side of caution when it comes to wedding dress shopping. Keep in mind that it takes, on average, six months for dresses to come in once they have been ordered. Chances are that you’ll need alterations as well, and those can take up to three months themselves. Considering all of this, a safe bet is to start the shopping process nine to twelve months before the date of the wedding so you don’t feel rushed to make a decision the first time you step into a bridal shop. When it comes to shopping for rings, you might want to start the process by perusing online on a site that has a variety of wedding band options, such as Blue Nile. Once you have an idea of what like, leave yourself plenty of time for the order to come in just in case. Nothing screams stress quite like your wedding ring not fitting when you receive it a week before the wedding!
5. Don’t be afraid to ask for what you want
The best advice we can give anyone planning a wedding is to ask for what you want! No matter how meticulous your vision board may be, no wedding planner can read your mind. Speak up and ask about extra services if you want them at your wedding! From a post-dance-party late night snack to an extra hour (or two) built into cocktail hour, nobody will know what you want unless you say it! Even if these details are not stated on a vendor’s website, that doesn’t mean they won’t go out of their way to give you what you want. Not only will it make you happy, it could help boost their resume of offerings as well. Just remind yourself that it never hurts to try, and you’ll never know what your vendors allow unless you ask! In the end, the only way for your wedding to fulfill all of your wildest dreams, is if you do everything in your power to make it that way. And if some of those questions seem hard to ask your vendors, have your wedding planner ask for you! After all, you hired them for a reason.
Our team has been planning weddings for almost 30 years professionally, and we know in the New York City area, not everyone has a budget while many do. As many in our country procrastinate on many things, the many tasks of included in planning a wedding are not something that should be done at the last minute. The last three tips shown above are extremely important when planning a wedding of your own or for someone you love!